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Public hearing addresses traffic, road concerns for Creekside

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POSTED: October 22, 2012 8:45 a.m.

Several Richmond Hill residents got the chance to learn about a potential new community called Creekside at Richmond Hill Plantation on Tuesday when a public hearing was held regarding the project.

Developer John Mowry with Simcoe Investments LLC presented the plan of 208 single-family homes and 52 townhome sites to the Richmond Hill City Council and about 20 attendees who asked questions and expressed concerns ranging from traffic to road upkeep.

Mowry described the neighborhood that would encompass 75 acres off of Brisbon Road. He said the community will feature a 4.5-acre amenities center, a possible kayak ramp and nature trail and an abundance of greenspace.

“What we want to do is come in and only clear the roads and the right of ways,” Mowry told the crowd. “The only place we’d be clearing on the lots is where the house is going — just enough around the house to leave sod and somewhat of a yard.”

Mowry also assured that the townhomes included in the master plan will be for sale. He said the goal is to sell the single-family and townhomes at $200,000 or more.

“I want to make sure we all understand these are for sale — they are not for rent, they’re not low-cost living, these are for sale,” Mowry said, noting a lot of retired people, divorcees or first-time homebuyers will purchase townhomes. “These are not rentals, and they’re not government subsidized or anything else. They’ll be sold just like we sell everything else in here.”

Resident Mike Sisco expressed concerns about increased traffic flowing to Highway 144, but Mowry said all three entrances and exits to the community would be on Brisbon Road, giving people the chance to use Harris Trail or Highway 144.

“Believe it or not, I’ve driven down this road several times in the morning and afternoon to see what the traffic is doing,” Mowry said. “I found it easy if I went out and took Harris Trail I could get to the same places with the same route time.”

Council member Jan Bass pointed out the project won’t be built overnight.

“By the time this is even remotely started building out, we should have Harris Trail done and Belfast Siding should start being built, so we’ll have traffic flows going out other avenues to alleviate the pressure on Highway 144 by then,” Bass said.

Mayor Harold Fowler also pointed out by the time this project has begun, there will likely be a traffic light at Highway 144 and Timber Trail, which would also help traffic concerns.

Mowry echoed those comments and said the project would be completed in phases and would like take as many as five years to complete.

“Another thing is, don’t think we’re going to come in here and build all this out at one shot. That’s not going to happen,” he said. “We’re going to come in here and build this thing in phases. So you’re looking at a five-year project … with six phases total in here, so we’ll only be starting with phase one.”

Residents Helen Proffit and Clark Helm expressed concerns about heavy equipment and dump trucks that could potentially damage Brisbon Road, a county road that is currently weight limited, during the construction process.

“If we damage the road and for some apparent reason dug into it or something … we’d do the repairs ourselves,” Mowry said. “Now I mean if the road is just falling apart because it’s just falling apart, that would be a county issue.”

Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar told the group and the council that no action would be taken for some time as the project is still awaiting a report from the Coastal Regional Commission.

“We should hear the DRI (development of regional impact report) sometime in the next week or so … it will then have to go to the planning commission for them to look at a change the master plan per our ordinance, and then it’ll come back to the council for an ultimate decision,” Scholar said.

 

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